Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES


Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

85 Waterman Street
The IBES main building, formerly Hunter Lab, was designed by Toshiko Mori Architects to achieve LEED Gold status. The better-than-new building incorporates many sustainability features in its design and construction, including an innovative rainwater re-use system; high efficiency lighting; heating and cooling systems; extra insulation; and many recycled construction and furnishing materials.

Encouraging collaboration was central to all elements of building design, with comfortable nooks and inviting gathering spaces tucked among crosscutting environmental science laboratories, faculty offices, and shared workspaces for undergrads, grad students, postdocs and visitors.

Laboratories housed in the building include:


The Environmental And Remote Technologies Laboratory (EARTHLab) provides research and academic support to activities related to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and satellite remote sensing analysis of agriculture, land use, and global change. This facility offers diverse services including data access and archiving, software and hardware, and training and research support for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

Brown Platform for Autonomous Remote Sensing

The Brown Platform for Autonomous Remote Sensing (BPAR) brings together VNIR and SWIR imaging spectrometers with an airborne LiDAR sensor and methods from computer vision to characterize the structure, composition, and chemistry of natural landscapes in three dimensions at high spatial resolution from an autonomous helicopter remote sensing platform.

Greenhouse Conservatory

The Conservatory is approximately 2,000 square feet and includes many plant families: including a diverse collection of Cycads, Orchids, Aroids, and many plants from the Amazon region. Many of these plants have medicinal and ceremonial uses and are part of our Ethnobotanical collection. For more information on the conservatory, please visit the Plant Environmental Center page

MacMillan Hall

167 Thayer Street
MacMillan Hall houses shared research facilities, including sample preparation facilities, plant growth chambers, and a wide variety of precision analytical equipment for geochemical environmental analysis.

Urban Environmental Lab 

135 Angell Street
The 100 year-old carriage house, retrofitted with superinsulation, passive solar heating, and a solar greenhouse, integrates a community center and educational facility under one roof. Working in the building, using its resources, and sharing in the responsibility of maintaining it, students attain a degree of environmental consciousness and urban self-sufficiency that a textbook or lecture could never hope to convey.

UEL Community Garden

135 Angell Street
The Community Garden began in the summer of 1984 on the site of a former parking lot. Its purpose was to demonstrate how to maximize organic food production in a limited space. The project blossomed into a community gardening experience that welcomed gardeners from campus and community to manage 24 individual plots on 12 raised beds, as well as housing a unique collection of medicinal herbs, groundcovers, and native Rhode Island plants.

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